Before I attempt to answer this question with the millions of jumbled up thoughts banging around in my head, I feel that it’s necessary to point out that I nearly fainted with excitement and anticipation when I saw this message. I take character analysis and Draco Malfoy super seriously, okay. Alright, with that out of the way, I’ll attempt to collect my thoughts in as concise a post as I can manage. Please note that for the purpose of this being spontaneously done and conscientious of space (lol somewhat), consider this a rough draft of my analysis on Draco Malfoy’s character.
First and foremost, I find it pertinent to mention that I wholeheartedly consider Draco Malfoy to be a dynamic character. For those who may be a bit uneasy with the English language or just have no idea what the hell I mean, a dynamic character is one who changes throughout the course of a story. For Draco—quite obviously—this change didn’t turn into an impulse decision, and it certainly wasn’t something that changed the entire course of his character. Time and time again, I find people in my day-to-day life who consider Draco one of the main villains of the entire franchise; if not him alone, then—at the very least—the entire Malfoy family. And while I agree that Draco is definitely an anti-being within the realm of the Harry Potter universe, I wouldn’t consider him a “villain.” To me, a villain is Lord Voldemort. A villain is Bellatrix Lestrange. Draco, though, gives off the vibe of an anti-hero. To help understand what I mean, I’d like to address the shift in Draco Malfoy’s character throughout the series.
- Years One-Five: Draco’s pretty much a brat. At this stage, he’s fairly harmless; just little more than a schoolyard bully with hopes of befriending Harry Potter to please his father. His spoiled, pretentious attitude exudes a lifestyle of privilege and wealth that plays very prominently into his character. All-in-all, there’s not much to comment on as far as Draco’s first (or first few) years at Hogwarts go; I always felt as though the first book or two was really dedicated to Rowling establishing Draco’s privilege and aristocratic background. And then his fourth and fifth years come. Here, Draco’s family begins to play a more important role in the series (at least by my standards). The fourth book has Draco eluding to his father’s role in the Death Eaters, and the fifth book reveals as much (I won’t discuss Lucius much, though; I’m not trying to write a book or anything, after all). For me, personally, what really begins to spark Draco’s character growth is at the end of his fifth year at Hogwarts; he’s clearly beyond pissed that Harry has more or less “outed” his father, and the summer following that is undoubtedly hell for him. Very little is known about Draco’s summer just before sixth year, but from inference and timelines, we can assume that this was when he took the Dark Mark; this was when he found out what his challenge would be the following school year. This was, more or less, the entire series of events that sparked Draco’s internal change and the growth of his character setting itself in motion.
- Year Six: So, without further ado, I bring out the big guns. Year Six—or, as I like to call it—the Draco Malfoy Book. Half-Blood Prince seems to show the greatest shift Draco’s character has seen thus far within the series. He was always portrayed as a brat with more bark than bite, but there’s a side of Draco witnessed by Harry over the course of this school year that stands out so starkly from his younger, more overtly arrogant years. Draco Malfoy becomes more introverted, less inclined to make childish and inane comments whenever he receives a chance, is visibly more stressed, has appeared to isolate himself. It’s in his increasing state of bitterness; in the way he ignores Quidditch, the greatest chance he had to one-up Harry (something the old Draco never would have passed on), and in the way he seems to fold in on himself. It was in the way he began neglecting his prefect duties, which was a title he had loved abusing the year before, and how forgetful he became with his schoolwork. Had anyone paid close enough attention, I think most people would have noticed such a stark contrast in Draco’s character. To think that Harry was the only person to visibly take note of the fact that he seemed anxious and weary is remarkable. In some ways, reading Draco’s huge transformation in this book made me think he was suffering from depression issues. As it was never fully discussed, however, I cannot make any absolute statements; merely pick up on what I noticed myself. And then, at the conclusion of the book, when it’s made clear that Draco’s terrified out of his mind about his task and doesn’t have it in him to kill Dumbledore, we see a side of Draco’s humanity that has been shielded and guarded for so many years. He shut down so much of his emotions that only a tragedy like this was able to wake him up. His inability to murder Dumbledore paired with his breakdown with Moaning Myrtle mark two important visualizations of Draco Malfoy’s vulnerability. And I love that Rowling shows us them.
- Year Seven: Since the main focus of this book has Draco M.I.A., there’s really three important things I want to say about this book. First and foremost, that he didn’t outwardly identify Harry when the Trio was brought to his Manor…even when it would have been glaringly easy for him to. Secondly, he and his family didn’t run away from the Battle of Hogwarts. They stayed…together. No matter what David Yates had to say on the matter. Thirdly, the epilogue features Draco glancing at Harry in a way that is seemingly devoid of hatred and malice; it seems to be a look of understanding. And to me…it implies that, over the years, Draco’s prejudice and elitist ways of the world have warped and softened. Maybe they aren’t gone forever; perhaps he still prays his son will marry a respectable Pureblood. But regardless, it’s enough for me to go off of; it’s enough for me to find hope that Draco’s character reached a full circle.
Plain and simply, Draco Malfoy is a bigot. Consuming whatever prejudiced ideals were instilled into him as a child, his ingrained sense of injustice and Pureblood prejudice formed who he was as a child. It was his experiences with the war and the task that was designed for him to fail that helped shape and mold his character into the more dynamic substance I claim him to be. Do I think that Draco Malfoy is a “good” character? No, I don’t. Do I think that he has a heart of gold and started walking around handing out anti-Pureblood fliers after the war? No, definitely not. Do I think that he’s a complex character with a dozen layers whose later character arc is forgotten by those who swear on hating him? Absolutely. He’s not the hero of any story—not even his own. And I think that’s one of the reasons why he’s so fascinating to me; because, no matter where he looks, he’ll never be a Gryffindor. He’ll never have the heart of a lion and the courage to protect anyone aside from himself and his parents. He’s not the stuff made of legends, and he’s not the hero you read in bedtime stories to your kids and grandkids. He’s an anti-hero who has a sour set of morals and an irritating personality…but he’s also a character that expands and breathes life into the pages of the stories he’s inserted himself into. And I think that’s pretty damn cool.
Draco Malfoy is not a nice character. But he’s a wonderful one to watch grow and transform.
You have to put your heart into it. You have to want it so bad, failing is not an option. You have to seize your future with both hands, grab on real tight, and never let go. I can drop jaws. I can turn heads. I can be that girl. I can do it. I know I can.
I am going to do it this time, just you wait and see. I’ll the world on fire behind me.
Especially since I’m moving, I know that this fresh start will be everything I’m looking for!
you look at me silently and smile. i can taste the echo from the words you didn’t say. i turn around and walk away, feeling your eyes digging a hole through my skull. my legs are lead and my senses are on red alert. i hear my pulse hammering in my toes, screaming for me to reverse reverse reverse. i ignore it, and it just gets worse. The insides of my cheeks fill with blood. I walk into the subway and swipe my card. The train arrives promptly, for once. I sit down and collapse, my chest hammering away. A bottle tips over, reminiscent of the strange sound hearts make when they break.
Cuddling is the besttttttt
Have you ever wanted to look at someone and just keep looking? Look at them until they looked back, and have an unabashed staring contest? Your eyes challenge theirs and you dare them to look away…but they can’t because your gaze has handcuffed their eyeballs in a merciless hold. I want to capture someone like this and keep them my prisoner. Read into their soul until I can write their autobiography. Unveil their secrets one by one - every crime, transgression, and guilty pleasure. I want to burn every line of their jaw and muted scar on their body into my retinas so I can mold a sculpture of them blindfolded. I want no space in between where I end and they begin.